Celts target victory in Belgium
Rodgers aiming to pass Anderlecht test
Brendan Rodgers: a good result against Anderlecht is vital for the Celtic manager (pic: SNS Group)
If it’s accepted that Celtic will fail to take anything from their Champions’ League games against Paris St-Germain and Bayern Munich, then it’s fair to say the Glasgow side’s bid for European success this season begins in earnest tonight against Anderlecht.
Brendan Rodgers’ aim is to still be in Europe beyond Christmas. That target can be achieved with a third place finish in Group B securing a route into the last 32 of the Europa League.
That is a realistic aim after being drawn against two of the favourites to win the tournament. The problem for the Scottish champions is that it is a view also shared by their Belgian hosts this evening.
As Celtic were being dismantled 5-0 by PSG at Parkhead in the opening round of matches, Anderlecht were defeated 3-0 in Munich.
It’s therefore game on at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium as the two teams battle it out for their first points in the group.
“If you look at it realistically it is a game that both teams will be looking at to have that chance of playing in Europe after Christmas,” said Rodgers. “But all games at this level are very tough and we’ve experienced that in the last couple of seasons.
“We go into it with good confidence in the team.
“For us, it is about bringing our game into these games and that’s what we have done, particularly in the competition last year after the first game, in Gladbach away and Manchester City away.
“We put in very good performances so it’s looking to impose our style of play but respecting that the opponent will always have some very good players.”
Anderlecht sacked manager Rene Weiler a week ago after a disappointing start to their season, Argentinian Nicolas Frutos taking interim charge.
“You never know what’ll happen with the change in manager, sometimes you have that bounce effect with the team, when an interim manager comes in,” said Rodgers.
“But, we’ve done our best to study Anderlecht’s games so far and it’ll still pose a threat for us and be a difficult game, especially away from home.”